Framed by an infinite backdrop of dark, lifeless space, a robotic arm on the International Space Station in 2015 mounted a box of exposed microbes on a handrail 250 miles above Earth. The hearty bacteria had no protection from an onslaught of cosmic ultraviolet, gamma, and x-rays. Back on Earth, scientists wondered whether the germs might survive these conditions for up to three years, the length of the experiment, and if they did, what the results might tell the researchers about the ability of life to travel between planets. Continue reading Scientists Discover Exposed Bacteria Can Survive in Space for Years
Avoid close contact with sick patients. Stay home if you’re feeling unwell. Scrub your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and for goodness’ sake, stop touching your face. Continue reading Why Is Washing Your Hands So Important, Anyway?
Our medical system is at a crisis point. Bacteria that we could once easily dispatch are out-evolving our current antibiotics, leading to the growth of “superbugs.”
IN THE ARID, sun-soaked northwest corner of Australia, along the Tropic of Capricorn, the oldest face of Earth is exposed to the sky. Drive through the northern outback for a while, south of Port Hedlund on the coast, and you will come upon hills softened by time. They are part of a region called the Pilbara Craton, which formed about 3.5 billion years ago, when Earth was in its youth.
Cardiovascular disease can take many forms and numerous causes have been identified. Most of these have been associated with genetics and behavior. Yet there may be one other reason for heart troubles although it may seem highly unlikely.
William Wordsworth was on to something. As the poet claimed, a newborn never enters the world in utter nakedness but instead comes trailing clouds of glory—if by clouds of glory you mean a coating of mostly helpful microbes picked up from the fluids inside mom’s birth canal.
When we think of biodiversity, usually our minds conjure up colorful lush images of plants and trees, bright amphibians, reptiles and fish, mammals, and brightly tinted birds on the wing. Maybe you even think of crazy looking insects. But what most of us don’t often think of when we think of biodiversity is the world beneath our feet, the teeming life below ground.